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ISLAMABAD: The lead defence counsel for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that British forensic expert Robert William Radley had misled the accountability court and his testimony could not be relied upon.

Continuing final arguments in the Avenfield properties reference for the 6th consecutive day, Advocate Khawaja Haris alleged that “Radley lied at every step…everything related to Radley is full of suspicion, questions his credibility as well as the reports he prepared”.

He also questioned Mr Radley’s credibility by drawing the court’s attention to contradictory statements and stance taken by the witness.

The counsel admitted that pages of Coomber and Neilson & Nescoll trust deeds were identical but said that these were mistakenly placed.

He said Mr Radley had been hired for forensic examination of the trust deeds and noticing such mistakes was not part of his services, adding that members of the Joint Investigation Team should also have realised that it was a mistake as all of them were qualified.

Advocate Haris said Mr Radley’s opinion was that Calibri font could not have been used in the 2006 trust deed of Avenfield properties submitted by Maryam Nawaz because it was not commercially available before Jan 31, 2007. The witness on the other hand admitted before the court that the font had been in existence since April 2005 in the beta version of Windows Vista and, in fact, he himself had downloaded it and was using it before it was launched commercially, the counsel argued.

Mr Radley might have the opinion that the accused could not have downloaded Windows Vista or used Calibri font before 2007, but he didn’t because he himself downloaded and used it despite not being an IT expert or a computer geek, Advocate Haris said, referring to the cross-examination of the forensic expert.

He also highlighted a meeting of additional deputy prosecutor general of the National Accoun­tability Bureau (NAB) Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi with Mr Radley and Akhtar Riaz Raja, a UK-based solicitor and first cousin of JIT head Wajid Zia, a day before the recording of the forensic expert’s testimony and cross-examination in the Avenfield reference.

The counsel pointed out that Mr Radley admitted that he had shared all the information, prepared and distributed notes with NAB officials about Calibri font believing that they would be the ones recording his statement the next day.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2018